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Too sweet, not strong enough, stalled?

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shotgunsteve

NewBee
Registered Member
Oct 17, 2013
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Just tasted a 6 month batch. Super sweet, unfortunately didn't record OG but tested it and is now at 1.04 isn't very strong at all. Used wyeast sweet mead yeast for a 6G batch and I think about 18lb honey but not sure - perhaps it got too cold in my basement . What is best recommendation? Throw a new yeast in, certain amount of alcohol, or other?

Thank you all!
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,171
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I have not used that yeast before. Many on here have consistently said it is a very difficult yeast to get a good ferment out of for the very reasons you mention. I know you can use another yeast, or use this batch as a way to sweeten other batches that are to dry.
 

wayneb

Lifetime Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
There are those who swear by the Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast strain, and those who swear at it. I'm in the latter category. I have never had consistent results with that yeast and I have more often than not had fermentations stall well short of my planned FG, so I have for all practical purposes abandoned it.

That said, you can try a couple of things before resulting to pitching a new yeast to try to coax a re-start. First, bring your fermenter into a warmer spot. If your basement is on the cool side, that could cause your yeast to poop out early. And gently swirl the flocculated yeast back up into suspension to encourage any still active yeast cells to begin fermenting again. If a week at a warmer temp doesn't get things moving, then the next thing I'd do is to check the pH of the must. It sounds from your description that this is a traditional mead (just honey and water) so it may be that the must became too low in pH to sustain healthy yeast cells. You can adjust pH with a little potassium carbonate or potassium bicarbonate, if needed.

If neither of those things work, you can re-inoculate with an acclimated yeast starter. I would recommend that you choose a yeast strain known to be good at re-starting stuck fermentations, and to follow the guidelines for acclimating your yeast that you can find here on the forum if you search for stuck fermentation.

Finally, you may want to use a different yeast strain in your batches going forward. ;)
 

shotgunsteve

NewBee
Registered Member
Oct 17, 2013
4
0
0
Thanks for the quick help guys. I didn't mention it was a melomel (JOAM variation with the wyeast) which included oranges raisins cinnamon and cloves. We decided to rack the yeast back into all the remaining fruit in the secondary (after it had inadvertently been washed and drained of the trub). After 24 hours sitting at a much warmer 20C the mead has sprung back to active life, thanks to the remaining yeast in the fruit. (It is healthy yeast, I had used campden tablets to remove the wild yeast in the earlier fermentation stages)
 
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